"Almost all really new ideas have a certain aspect of foolishness when they are first produced." – Alfred North Whitehead
Our science curriculum is enhanced and enriched through partnerships with local scientific, environmental, and educational organizations. These partnerships serve to strengthen instruction in academic skills and to deepen the educational process. Not only are we able to bring scientists to Barnesville, we bring Barnesville’s students to their facilities and laboratories so that they may best learn from these experts. Enrichment opportunities like these benefit students in building new skills, forming new interests and increasing self-confidence. These hands-on experiences make for meaningful lessons that are remembered for years.
Barnesville has a school-wide partnership with Black Hill Regional Park to enhance outdoor and environmental education across our curriculum. Every month, one grade takes a field trip to Black Hill, and naturalists from the Park visit Barnesville to share their expertise with students. Park naturalists are also advising the school on its multi-year bird study for the School’s Field Guide that documents campus wildlife. You can read more on our blog.
Barnesville has partnered with Red Wiggler Community Farm to complement our second grade science curriculum. Students plant and grow their own vegetables in raised garden beds on campus. Red Wiggler is a sustainable farm in Germantown (close to Barnesville), where people with and without developmental disabilities come together to work, learn, and grow healthy food.
Additional examples of past partnerships include:
- GeneDx – a genetic testing and diagnosis company in Gaithersburg serving families suffering from severe hereditary disorders. As part of our students’ studies on genetics, they learn from scientists at GeneDx how research on genetics can help save the lives of those with rare genetic conditions.
- OriGene – a biology company in Rockville dedicated to the creation of genome-wide reagents in support of research and clinical diagnostics. Students furthered their understanding of genetics with a visit to the laboratory and question-and-answer sessions with OriGene’s scientists.
- Poolesville High School Global Ecology Magnet Program – Our students have partnered with high school seniors to create reef balls for Chesapeake Bay oysters, giving the oysters a habitat and ultimately helping the oyster population in the Bay to flourish. (Barnesville, Poolesville students create habitat for bivalves, Gazette, Nov. 27, 2013)
- Brickyard Educational Farm – a Potomac nonprofit that strives to improve the Chesapeake Bay watershed through the practice and education of sustainable agriculture. Students worked with staff members to grow and harvest local crops, as well as learn about seed saving and storage.
- Kingsbury’s Orchard – a 100-year-old orchard in Dickerson producing apples, peaches, pears, and other fruit. Each Wednesday in the fall, students enjoy apples from the orchard as a healthy, local snack, and learn about the importance of locally sourced food. Barnesville’s youngest students also visit Kingsbury’s Orchard for a tour of the facilities.